Chicken and Poppy Seed Pasta

3:05 pm on 8 April 2016

(Serves 4)

(This is a great way to use up roast chicken from the fridge)

I used to live with my eldest son Henry at the top of one of the three tall skinny terrace houses on Tinakori Road that they call the Three Sisters. It was like living in a bird’s nest or a tree house. I loved it, being high up with a sense of space and freedom and then walking down onto a busy, vibrant street. Just underneath us was a shop called Pasta Pasta, one of the first in Wellington to make fresh pasta and sell it commercially. And the idea for this sauce came from one they used to make at Pasta Pasta. Children have been known to eat this without complaint and cry for more.


Chicken and poppy seed pasta
  • good glug of light olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 200g Savoy cabbage, finely sliced
  • 8 cups cooked penne pasta (5 cups dried)
  • 480g cooked free-range or organic chicken, broken into pieces
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 12 big mint leaves, finely sliced
  • 750ml cream
  • 2 teaspoons flaky salt
  • few good grinds of black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 80g parmesan cheese, grated


Put a pan on a low heat with the olive oil and cook the red onion for 10–15 minutes until soft but not brown. Now add the garlic and stir them both until they just start to colour.

Put the cabbage in a colander and pour boiling water over it to soften. Now add the cabbage to the onion and cook until really soft. Next add the pasta, chicken, carrot, mint, cream, and salt and pepper. Mix together and then let it simmer until the sauce has thickened and the chicken has heated through; this will take about 5 minutes on a gentle heat. When you’ve done this, mix in the poppy seeds and half of the parmesan, and check for seasoning.

Serve with the remainder of the grated parmesan on top.

Pipi at Home

Extracted from Pipi at Home by Alexandra Tylee, published by Random House NZ

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

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